Women won more than 60% of US medals at the Tokyo Paralympics

Gold medalists Hannah Aspden, Mikaela Jenkins, Jessica Long and Morgan Stickney of Team United States pose during the women’s 4x100m Medley Relay - 34 points medal ceremony on day 9 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
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For the first time in history, the 2021 U.S. Paralympic team includes more women (121) than men (113). This is especially notable given that the Paralympics are far less gender balanced than the Olympics. In Tokyo, women account for about 42 percent of all Paralympians, though this is a still an increase from previous Games.

Team USA – Women’s Medal Count

Throughout the Paralympic Games, On Her Turf tracked the success of the women of Team USA, tallying every medal they earned.

In Tokyo, the 2021 U.S. Paralympic team won 104 total medals, including 37 gold.

Of those medals, 64 total (and 23 gold) have been won by women, either in women’s events (58 total, 20 gold) or in open/mixed gender events (6 total, 3 gold).

In other words: women won 61.5 percent of total U.S. medals and 62 percent of U.S. gold medals.

(Methodology note: The U.S. wheelchair rugby team’s silver is not included in this “women’s medal count.” While wheelchair rugby is a mixed gender sport, the U.S. team in Tokyo did not include any women. However, medals like the U.S. track team’s gold in the mixed gender 4x100m universal relay are included as women were members of that medal-winning team.)

RELATED: United States medal tracker for Tokyo Paralympics


Cycling

Track Cycling – Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit – C4 (video highlight here)

  • Silver: Shawn Morelli
    • Morelli, a U.S. Army veteran, claimed the U.S. team’s first medal of the Tokyo Paralympics. Read more about Morelli’s accomplishment here.

Road Cycling – Women’s Time Trial – C4

  • Gold: Shawn Morelli

Road Cycling – Women’s Time Trial – H4-5

  • Gold: Oksana Masters (Read more about Masters’ Paralympic journey here)

Road Cycling – Women’s Road Race – H1-4

  • Bronze: Alicia Dana

Road Cycling – Women’s Road Race – H5 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Oksana Masters 

RELATED: Oksana Masters is one of the world’s greatest athletes, but she isn’t fearless

Road Cycling – Women’s Road Race – T1-2

  • Bronze: Jill Walsh

Road Cycling – Mixed Gender H1-5 Team Relay

  • Bronze: United States (Alicia Dana, Alfredo de los Santos, Ryan Pinney)

Equestrian

Individual Championship Test – Grade I

  • Gold: Roxanne Trunnell on Dolton
    • This result by Trunnell and horse Dolton marked the United States’ first gold medal in equestrian at the Olympics or Paralympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Individual Freestyle Test – Grade I (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Roxanne Trunnell on Dolton

Team Test to Music

  • Bronze: U.S. Team (Roxanne Trunnell, Rebecca Hart, Kate Shoemaker)

Goalball

Following a thrilling semifinal shootout victory against Brazil, the U.S. women’s goalball team played for gold. The U.S. went on to claim silver, falling to Turkey 9-2 in the gold medal game.

The U.S. women’s goalball team included Amanda Dennis, Asya MillerEliana Mason, Lisa CzechowskiMarybai Huking, and Mindy Cook. Both Miller and Czechowski competed at their sixth Paralympics in Tokyo.

Read more about the U.S. women’s goalball team here.


Rowing

Mixed Coxed Four – PR3 (video highlight here)

  • Silver: U.S. Team (Danielle Hansen, Karen Petrik, Allie Reilly, Charley Nordin, John Tanguay)

Sitting Volleyball

The U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team won gold, defeating China 3-1 in the final. The U.S. has now claimed a medal at every Paralympics since women’s sitting volleyball debuted: bronze in 2004, silver in 2008 and 2012, and gold in 2016 and 2020.

The U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team at the Tokyo Paralympics:

  • Lora Webster (MB, Point Lookout, New York)
  • Bethany Zummo (L, Dublin, California)
  • Lexi Shifflett (S/L, Waseca, Minnesota)
  • Katie Holloway (OH, Lake Stevens, Washington)
  • Heather Erickson (OPP, Fayetteville, North Carolina)
  • Monique Matthews (MB/OH, Ardmore, Oklahoma)
  • Whitney Dosty (OH/OPP, Tucson, Arizona)
  • Jillian Williams (MB/OPP/OH, Odem, Texas)
  • Emma Schieck (OH, Statesville, North Carolina)
  • Nichole Millage (OPP, Champaign, Illinois)
  • Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (S, Edmond, Oklahoma)
  • Annie Flood (S/OPP, Salem, Oregon)

The team was led by head coach Bill Hamiter and assistant coach Michelle Goodall.

READ MORE: US women win second straight gold in sitting volleyball


Swimming

Women’s 50m Butterfly – S6

  • Bronze: Elizabeth Marks

Women’s 50m Butterfly – S7

  • Silver: Mallory Weggemann

Women’s 50m Freestyle – S6 (highlight here)

  • Silver: Elizabeth Marks 

Women’s 100m Backstroke – S6

  • Gold: Elizabeth Marks

Women’s 100m Backstroke – S7 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Mallory Weggemann
  • Bronze: Julia Gaffney

Women’s 100m Backstroke – S8

  • Bronze: Jessica Long

Women’s 100m Backstroke – S9 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Hannah Aspden

Women’s 100m Backstroke – S13 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Gia Pergolini
    • In the final of this race, Pergolini lowered her own world record, touching the wall in 1:04.64. Pergolini’s result came just one hour after her friend and roommate, Anastasia Pagonis, claimed gold in the 400m S11. Read more about Pergolini and Pagonis’s friendship here.

Women’s 100m Breaststroke – SB6 (highlight here)

  • Bronze: Sophia Herzog

Women’s 100m Breaststroke – SB7

  • Silver: Jessica Long

Women’s 100m Breaststroke – SB13

  • Silver: Colleen Young

Women’s 100m Freestyle – S3

  • Silver: Leanne Smith

Women’s 100m Freestyle – S7

  • Silver: McKenzie Coan

Women’s 100m Butterfly – S8

  • Gold: Jessica Long 

RELATED: Swimmer Jessica Long departs fifth Paralympics with 29 career medals

Women’s 100m Butterfly – S9

  • Silver: Elizabeth Smith

Women’s 100m Butterfly – S10

  • Gold: Mikaela Jenkins

Women’s 200m Individual Medley – SM7 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Mallory Weggemann 
  • Silver: Ahalya Lettenberger

Women’s 200m Individual Medley – SM8 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Jessica Long
    • Long claimed her fourth straight gold medal in this event, a streak that started at the 2008 Beijing Games. Read more here.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley – SM11

  • Bronze: Anastasia Pagonis

Women’s 200m Individual Medley – SM13

  • Silver: Colleen Young

Women’s 400m Freestyle – S7 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: McKenzie Coan
  • Bronze: Julia Gaffney

Women’s 400m Freestyle – S8

  • Gold: Morgan Stickney
  • Silver: Jessica Long

Women’s 400m Freestyle – S11 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Anastasia Pagonis
    • Pagonis, 17, touched the wall 4:54.49 to break her own world record, which she set earlier this summer at U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials. Her victory marked the U.S. team’s first gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympics. Read more here.

Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay (34 points)

  • Gold: United States (Hannah Aspden, Mikaela Jenkins, Jessica Long, and Morgan Stickney)
    • Read more about the U.S. team’s victory and watch a highlight of Stickney’s thrilling anchor leg performance here.

Track & Field

Women’s 100m – T13

  • Bronze: Kym Crosby

Women’s 100m – T37

  • Silver: Jaleen Roberts (read more here)

Women’s 100m – T47

  • Silver: Brittni Mason
  • Bronze: Deja Young

Women’s 100m – T54

  • Bronze: Cheri Madsen (Read more about Madsen, who made her Paralympic debut in 1996, here)

Women’s 200m – T47

  • Silver: Brittni Mason

Women’s 400m – T13

  • Bronze: Kym Crosby

Women’s 400m – T20

  • Gold: Breanna Clark

Women’s 400m – T54

  • Silver: Cheri Madsen

Women’s 800m – T34

  • Bronze: Alexa Halko

Women’s 800m – T54 (video highlight here)

  • Silver: Tatyana McFadden
  • Bronze: Susannah Scaroni

Women’s 1500m – T13

  • Silver: Liza Corso

Women’s 5000m – T54 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Susannah Scaroni 
  • Bronze: Tatyana McFadden
    • After the victory, Scaroni credited McFadden, her teammate and training partner, with helping her win. “Tatyana didn’t make a chase, which meant they didn’t catch up over those seven laps,” Scaroni said. “I feel like we both won, honestly.” Read more here.

Mixed Gender 4x100m Universal Relay

  • Gold: United States (Noah Malone, Brittni Mason, Nick Mayhugh, Tatyana McFadden)
    • Read more about the Paralympic debut of this event here.

Women’s Long Jump – T37

  • Silver: Jaleen Roberts

Women’s Club Throw – F51

  • Silver: Cassie Mitchell

Triathlon

Women’s Triathlon – PTS2 (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Allysa Seely
  • Silver: Hailey Danz

Women’s Triathlon – PTS5 (video highlight here)

  • Silver: Grace Norman

Women’s Triathlon – PTWC (video highlight here)

  • Gold: Kendall Gretsch
    • In a thrilling finish, Gretsch chased down Australian Lauren Parker to claim gold by one second. Gretsch, who also owns two gold medals in Nordic skiing from the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, became the fifth American – and third American woman –  to win gold at both the summer and winter Paralympic Games. Read more here.

Wheelchair Basketball

The U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team claimed bronze, defeating Germany 64-51. The Netherlands won gold – the country’s first ever gold medal in the event – while China claimed silver.

2021 U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team:

Number Name Sport Class Paralympic Experience
1 Alejandra (Ali) Ibanez 2.5 Paralympic debut
3 Abigail (Abby) Bauleke 1.5 Paralympic debut
4 Zoe Voris 3.5 Paralympic debut
5 Darlene Hunter 1.0 Third Paralympics
7 Josie Aslakson 1.0 Paralympic debut
8 Natalie Schneider (C) 4.5 Fourth Paralympics
15 Rose Hollermann 3.5 Third Paralympics
21 Kaitlyn Eaton 1.5 Paralympic debut
24 Lindsey Zurbrugg 2.5 Paralympic debut
43 Bailey Moody 4.0 Paralympic debut
54 Ixhelt Gonzalez 4.5 Paralympic debut
55 Courtney Ryan 2.0 Paralympic debut

 


Wheelchair Rugby

While wheelchair rugby is a mixed gender sport, the U.S. team – which claimed silver – did not include any women.

That said, wheelchair rugby did see several notable firsts for women at the Tokyo Paralympics:

  • Great Britain’s Kylie Grimes became the first woman to claim gold in wheelchair rugby. To put that in perspective: since the sport debuted at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, 57 athletes have won gold: 56 men and one woman (Grimes). Read more about this historic first here.
  • The Tokyo Paralympics broke the record for women’s participation in wheelchair rugby at a single Games thanks to the four women who competed: Kylie Grimes (GBR), Kurahashi Kae (JPN), Shae Graham (AUS), Sofie Sejer Skoubo (DEN).

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC


How to watch the Tokyo Paralympics

NBC will provide over 1,200 hours of Paralympic coverage. Here are some highlights:

  • A full Paralympic TV schedule (which includes an overview of coverage on NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel) can be found here.
  • Events can also be livestreamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. More info is available here.

Kaillie Humphries elevates another fresh U.S. face to podium status in two-woman bobsled World Cup

Kaillie Humphries of USA, Kaysha Love of USA in action at the 2 women's bobsleigh during Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
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PARK CITY, UTAH – Kaillie Humphries extended her podium streak on Saturday at the IBSF World Cup, where she and U.S. push athlete Jasmine Jones finished third in the two-woman bobsled.

The third-place finish in Park City marked the sixth podium for Humphries at the Park City track, which hosted the 2002 Olympics, and was Jones’ career-first World Cup podium in just her second World Cup start.

“This is our first race together, so really excited about that,” said the 37-year-old Humphries, considered the greatest female driver in history with three Olympic gold medals (2010, 2014 and 2022) and five world championships titles. She earned her 29th career World Cup win on Friday in Park City in the women’s monobob.

“Definitely a work in progress. … The runs weren’t perfect, but I’m really happy with our starts, happy with our drives minus a few little mistakes. It’s a good starting point, and we’ll look to grow from here.”

Humphries and Jones finished with a combined, two-run time of 1:37.69, 0.32 behind winners Kim Kalicki and brakewoman Leonie Fiebig of Germany at 1:37.37. Fellow Germans Laura Nolte and Lena Neunecker were second at 0.23 back.

Kalicki and Fiebig broke a 16-year-old track record with their first run, laying down a time of 48.60 seconds and besting the time set by Americans Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming – the 2006 Olympic silver medalists – in December 2006 (48.73). It also marked the second straight victory for Kalicki, who’s won five career World Cup titles including last week’s two-woman bobsled race in Whistler, Canada.

“I was hoping Kaillie would get [the record],” said Rohbock, who is now a U.S. team coach and was on hand to see her record fall. “That first run there, she had that little skid in the bottom, so that didn’t help, but Kailee’s always putting up a great performance. And Jasmine, another great brakewoman, so we’re really lucky that we have that depth.”

For Team USA, it marked the second straight week that a fresh face earned her first podium finish while competing with Humphries. Last week in Whistler, push athlete Emily Renna and Humphries placed third in Renna’s first-ever World Cup appearance.

MORE IBSF WORLD CUP COVERAGE: Kelly Curtis notches career-best finish with top five at Park City skeleton World Cup

“Being able to race with her was really special,” said the 29-year-old Renna, who was a college track athlete at University of Rhode Island. “It’s really nice to be around seasoned veterans. It definitely makes you feel better in the back sled with you when you’ve got a good pilot who knows the track.”

Renna finished in eighth place in Park City with 12-year U.S. team veteran and pilot Nicole Vogt (1:39.04). Vogt partnered with Jones in her first World Cup last week where they finished seventh in Whistler, 1.33 seconds behind winners Kalicki and German teammate Anabel Galander.

“To have an opportunity to be with Kaillie in my World Cup debut – it’s exciting,” said the 26-year-old Jones, who was a collegiate track and field athlete at Eastern Michigan. “I just feel like I have so much more in the tank to give, and I’m just hungry for it.”

Jones is particularly gratified with her performance after returning full-time to bobsled less than 18 months ago following the birth of her daughter, Jade Quinn Jones, in February 2021. The Greensburg, Pa., native returned to training just five months postpartum, having sat out the 2020-21 season. She competed on the North American Cup last year, finishing the season with a win (the third NA Cup title of her career) and a third place in Lake Placid.

“I’m thankful,” said Jones. “Opportunity is the main thing, and I just feel blessed to have my first World Cup podium. I’m screaming on the inside. I may not show it, but I am jumping for joy because I’m just that excited and happy to have this accomplishment.”

She admits, however, it’s not always easy to compete balance a full-time competitive career with being a mom.

“Sometimes it’s a struggle being away from my daughter,” said Jones, whose mom takes care of Jade while she travels. “I try to get my facetimes in every night and just know that when I’m pushing, I’m doing it for her. Hopefully sometime in the future I’ll have her around on the sidelines cheering me on, and that’s my main motivation – that this is for her.”

The BMW IBSF World Cup continues its North American swing Dec. 16-18 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Kaillie Humphries faces IVF journey head on — and collects monobob World Cup win along the way

Gold medallist Kaillie Humphries of Team United States celebrates during the Women's Monobob.
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PARK CITY, UTAH — Kaillie Humphries knew the quest to start a family would impact her 2022-23 season, but it’s certainly not slowing down Team USA’s reigning monobob Olympic gold medalist, who captured her first World Cup title in the discipline on Friday.

The 37-year-old Humphries, considered the greatest female driver in history with three Olympic golds (2010, 2014 and 2022) and five world championships, earned her 29th career World Cup win and her third victory on the Park City track, where she won the two-woman bobsled competitions in 2012 and 2016. Competing in Utah – as well as North American World Cup stops in Whistler last week and in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Dec. 17-18 – is one of the reasons that Humphries pushed pause on her journey to motherhood.

“I’m excited,” Humphries said following the win, marking her second straight podium in monobob following a third-place finish last week in Whistler. “I was excited for this year before it started. It’s part and parcel of why my husband and I delayed the IVF process and starting a family this season. To be able to be back in North America and have the first half of the season here – it’s been a long time since we’ve had that, so I wanted to be able to compete and it feels awesome.”

That’s not to say the leadup to this season has been without its share of hiccups. In fact, Humphries admits that following the Beijing Olympics, she had hoped to get pregnant immediately, but she and husband Travis Armbruster had to pivot when a diagnosis of stage 4 endometriosis made it clear that in vitro fertilization would be the best path for pregnancy.

“Right after the Olympics, I was like, ‘We’re going to get pregnant; it’s gonna be all good,’” she said. “I thought, my body has always performed, and it wasn’t going to be an issue. Fast forward to I find out we have to do IVF. We do the first egg retrieval, and it doesn’t go as well as I had hoped — which anybody that’s done this process knows, you can’t control any aspect of it. And so having to do a second round of egg retrieval, …it pushed everything back.”

What’s more, it brought Humphries’ training to a standstill at times, when she would have to limit all physical activity during the three-week period surrounding the egg-retrieval process.

“It impacted my training coming into this year a lot,” she says, “but I also think it definitely reset my hormones, which turns out I needed. I don’t think was a bad thing. I knew coming into this year, I wasn’t going to be in the same shape as I have been in the past, and I had to make peace with that. I know that each and every race I’m racing myself into shape, and each race is a preparation for January’s World Championships.”

Humphries also chose to share her IVF journey publicly, and she’s documented every step of the way, believing that her story makes it less scary not just for her but also for other women and female athletes who might be facing the same thing.

MORE IBSF WORLD CUP: Kelly Curtis notches career-best finish with top five at Park City skeleton World Cup

“My husband and I weren’t sure that we wanted to share it at first,” she admits. “But I felt it was important just to showcase this. I have nothing to hide. And as much as there are parts of me certain days when I think, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ At the end of the day, I know I’m not alone in this.

“It’s important, I do have a voice, and I want other people to know, as an Olympic gold medalist, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody. Infertility exists in the female body, and it’s important that I talk about it in my journey and hopefully that’s inspired other people.”

She says she’s received an outpouring of support, which has been particularly gratifying as she continues to put a painful breakup with Team Canada in the rearview mirror. Humphries, who was born in Calgary, competed for Canada for 16 years, winning three Olympic medals including a bronze in Pyeongchang in 2018. But the relationship came to an abrupt end later just five months after the 2018 Games, after Humphries alleged emotional and mental harassment by a former coach.

Winning a gold medal in Beijing just two months after her U.S. citizenship was finalized proved to be turning point for Humphries, who commemorated the milestone with two new tattoos. She first added the date of her win – Feb. 14, 2022 – to the back of her left hand and a larger rose and skull illustration to the back of her right knee and calf, all of which commemorate her triumph over that darker period.

“The skull represents a rebirth and a growth, overcoming challenges and/or obstacles and turning something negative into something positive,” explains Humphries, who says she chose the rose because it’s the national flower of the U.S. as well as a symbol of love won or lost. She notes that she has “an actual Olympic one” planned for August 2024, which is when her favorite tattoo artist is next available.

Humphries has also found the silver lining in her IVF journey, as the competition season has been a welcome break from some of the self-imposed pressure.

“By pushing pause for four or five months and competing, it allowed me mentally to know that we can go into all of next summer and all winter focusing on just doing the actual embryo transfers and having a good pregnancy,” she says. “I don’t feel stressed to try and get pregnant right away. I felt like I was becoming competitive with myself, wondering why isn’t this working? Why can’t I do this? I tried to control too many things, and I started to get really frustrated. Mentally, it was hard. So, by pushing pause, going back to what I know — which is the sport, which is what I love – it’s allowed me to control a little bit of my future.”

Humphries’ season continues Saturday as the IBSF World Cup from Park City concludes with the two-woman bobsleigh.